Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Mission of Christ:
As leaders in the mission of our church, your help is critical to our common cause. You know the opportunities. You live in the demographics. You understand the present and future realities of Rev. 7:9. And you care about what a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic church, yes even the LCMS, might come to be this side of heaven itself.
For several years now, Concordia Seminary has partnered with the leadership of our ethnic communities to host a Multi-Ethnic Symposium, held every other year within this season of Epiphany Light for all nations, also for a denomination that remains about 95% Anglo.
Those who attended have left with renewed hope. This was encouraging, since the topic in 2008 was Expressions of Hope, in 2010 was Conversations of Hope, and in 2012, Gifts of Hope. The conversations across ethnic and cultural boundaries were particularly engaging, energizing, and encouraging.
We learned and heard commonalities and concerns amongst “minority” communities. We have made some first steps in crossing the boundaries between “minorities” and “majorities.” We have also begun to address the key issue of theology and culture: what unites us by God’s grace and spirit within all cultures, and what is appropriate cultural expression of faith and life that brings a diversity of gifts to the Body of Christ?
We will continue working toward a common “community of hope” in January 2014, one year from now, and we are asking for your help in planning. Our participation grows stronger every year, and we will continue to cancel seminary classes in order to engage our students.
Fourth Biannual Multi-Ethnic Symposium
“Communities of Hope”
January 27-28, 2014
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo
We foresee another good mix of theology and practice and of sharing common concerns and conversations across the spectrum of issues that can divide us. So what will a multi-cultural LCMS look like in 2017, the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation? What will it look like in 2037 and 2047? What problems prevent the full integration of the body of Christ amongst us? What help can we give to pastors and congregational leaders, and to future pastors and leaders at seminary?
We will come together on January 27-28, 2014. Put these dates on your calendar. And send your input, concerns, ideas, and even frustrations to us by emailing Linda Nehring in our continuing education office (email@example.com) or feel free to talk to us as you wish.
May God bless our witness to our crucified and resurrected Savior so that all families of the earth will receive His blessing of salvation!
The Ethnic Symposium Continuation of Hope Committee
Kaye Wolff, Andy Bartelt, co-chairs